Travel retailer The Shilla Duty Free (Shilla) has revealed positive performance ‘above our business plan’ at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), where the grand opening of its six Beauty&You stores took place on 28 June.
A Shilla spokesman told TRBusiness following the grand opening: “The year has definitely begun on a positive note with performance above our business plan. We remain optimistic in terms of profitability for the year.
“Following strong planning and preparation from our knowledgeable and enthusiastic local & head office teams and a very strong partnership with Airport Authority Hong Kong and the brands, we feel we can build a sustainable and profitable business in the future.”
Looking back at the six-month period between the soft-opening of the stores and grand opening at the end of last month, the spokesman commented: “We transformed our [six] stores stage by stage to fully convey our Beauty&You concept.
“This delivers a [total] brand new look with a strong focus on retail experience, customer engagement and diversified brand assortments.”
The fusing of beauty with fashion accessories under one shopping umbrella has also come to life, according to the spokesman. “The use of digital technology throughout the stores is merged beautifully with the actual physical store to create an interactive engaging experience for customers.”
Shilla also made a conscious effort to consider the profiles of its shoppers at HKIA and what motivates them to spend during the six-month period. The spokesman explained: “Recognising that their purchasing habits may differ in a travel retail setting due to its unique environment and time constraints, we have included different product ranges across all price levels, with offerings in multiple formats.
“This is so customers have the freedom to select according to their preferences. Our diverse unique brand portfolio should allow for a strong performance across categories, concepts and brands as planned.”
Lifting the lid on the brand assortment in-store, the spokesman says the Beauty&You retail concept gives room for all definitions of beauty. “With around 200 brands on offer, The Shilla Duty Free has brought a list of new premium brands to HKIA.
“These include David Beckham’s global grooming brand House 99 and the best of Korean and Japanese brands such as The History of Whoo, su:m37º, Three, ReFa and image-maker NARS.
“The offer also comprises luxury leather goods labels and accessory brands such as Bresciani, Francesco Maglia, Victrix and fashion accessory labels Alexander McQueen and Didier Dubot among others.”
More than 60 new brands will join the extensive brand selection and offer an ‘innovative and enjoyable’ shopping experience for customers. “We intend to continue to sustain and respond to our discerning customer expectations as we move on,” indicated the spokesman.
Having stated the new retail formant will aim to reflect how modern travel-savyy customers shop in the build-up to the grand opening, the spokesman reveals the new stores incorporate a blend of branded and non-branded counters.
There are also engagement zones where brands and categories unite under a single umbrella. “These special lifestyle and themed areas are designed to enhance the retail experience through engaging customer interactively into immersive experience spaces.
“They include Elements—an area dedicated to gentlemen-specific products, New Generation—a section showcasing the best of Korean and Japanese cosmetics and perfume brands and a dedicated Curated Zone, where Shilla will collaborate with different brands each month to feature themed selections and trendy looks with perfume, cosmetics and fashion products on display.
“In the grand opening month, Lancôme is presenting a selection of its best-selling items through its ‘Pink Time’ showcase. SK-II Magic Ring, The History of Whoo Lipstick Story and Atelier Cologne’s engraving service will also be featured in the Curated Zone, with different interactive elements in visually striking displays to appeal to customers.”
The use of digital technology has been incorporated into these engagement zones to offer an enhanced shopping experience, emphasised the spokesman. “Our own Shilla Beauty Selfie makeup app in New Generation invites customers to virtually try on looks from various brands such as Anna Sui, Innisfree, Kate, Etude House, Three, Ladurée, NARS and Urban Decay.”
Further animated features such as ‘Get the Look’ and ‘Magic Mirror’ are designed to communicate up-to-date beauty and fashion trends.
Shilla has also prepared a series of special attractions in-store starting with the Shilla Digital Beauty ‘Touch & Win’ game, where customers can try their luck at the digital claw machine and win prizes.
Additionally, consumers are invited to experience the Shilla Beauty Journey through virtual reality headsets. Other in-store activities during the period such as Mac’s interactive ‘selfie’ machine highlight Shilla’s brand partners. This allows users to simulate different lip colours and instantly print out photos.
Cartier Eyewear and Perfume have also partnered for the first time to introduce their Panthère range in a display, while Dior will showcase its Miss Dior Perfume line with the #DiorLoveChain digital photo-booth.
Outlining its short-term and long-term objectives at HKIA in the aftermath of the grand opening, the spokesman concluded: “With our focus on customer engagement zones and digital assets, we aim to deliver a unique and seamless customer journey in the travel retail industry at HKIA.
“We have the commitment to continue to enrich and sustain this journey to the highest standards as we progress into the management of our concession.”